The scale you completed was the Transformation Expectations Questionnaire developed by Dr. Marsha Richins (2011).

This scale measures how much you believe your purchase will transform your life. There are five ways people think their purchases will transform their life:
  • Improved self-confidence and more regard from others
  • An improved appearance
  • Improved relationships with others
  • Increased pleasure in your daily life
  • Increased efficacy--this purchase will make your life easier

The graph below shows how much you expect the purchase you wrote about to transform your life. The higher your score, the more transformation you expect. Your transformation expectations are shown in green (1st bar). The transformation expectations of less-happy people are shown in red bars and the transformation expectations happy people are shown in blue bars.

As the graph above shows, happier people have lower expectations that their purchases will transform their self-confidence, appearance, relationships, daily pleasure, or efficacy.

Why is the construct important for well-being? Higher transformation expectations can lead to bad outcomes. If you expect more from your purchases, you’re more likely to buy compulsively and borrow more than you can pay off. This effect is especially strong if you are already materialistic (meaning you believe that buying tangible items is an important life goal, brings happiness, and reflects success).

What can I do to change my scores? Think about how advertisements often work: “there is something wrong with you, you should really want to improve it…here, this product will fix it all!” Think realistically about your purchases--what will they really change? This will help you spend your money wisely. Sure, some products make life easier. However, you’re often the one capable of changing yourself, not the things you buy.

Do you have ideas on improving this study? Or did you encounter any difficulties in answering the questions? Click here to send a message to the creators of this study.

Want to see how materialistic you are? Then take our Materialistic Values Scale.

Want to learn about the relationship between money management and happiness? Then take our Money Management Scale.

To learn more about how transformation expectations influence purchasing decisions, check out: This paper by the scale author, Dr. Marsha L. Richins.

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